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Design Changes You'd Like to See in AoS


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There's been some lively and very interesting discussion about this recently in a few other places on the forum, so I thought I'd make a proper thread for the topic.

There's always room for improvement with any system, and there are also personal preferences that - while not necessarily practical changes - are nonetheless fun to talk about.

A simple change I'd like to see in the game - and that I've definitely dedicated way too much time thinking about- would be to make Totem models a more significant part of each army (and, by inference, to make sure that each army got at least one.) This is purely a personal preference thing, but having the hero model with the really cool flag/banner/icon function as a more central figure in the force would be really fun and thematic. Give each one an aura bonus (or an enhancement table from which they can choose an aura bonus) that supports the army's play style(s), and give each Totem a built in once per game warscroll ability that they can use (like the Stormcast Knight Vexillor, or the Lumineth Bladebanner.)

For extra fun, an additional/ optional rule could be that the opposing player earns bonus VP if they slay the Totem model while in melee combat, effectively stealing/destroying your army's banner.

So, what are some crazy (or, you know, perfectly reasonable) things you'd like to see change or make their way into AoS?

Edited by OkayestDM
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I want true line of sight gone:
 

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A unit that is not a MONSTER is visible to another unit if a straight line can be drawn to each part of at least one base of a model in each unit without it passing through a terrain feature of 2.5" or more height.


No more aiming through windows or closed gates.

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5 minutes ago, Bayul said:

I want true line of sight gone:
 


No more aiming through windows or closed gates.

To piggy-back off of that, I'd like a rule where heroes with less than "x" wounds (10?) can never be damaged by more than 1 shooting attack at a time, regardless of the number of models shooting. This would negate the bizarre dissonance where a single guy on foot gets pelted by 20 arrows from across the battlefield with unerring accuracy. giphy-downsized-medium.gif.b762ab30be57c3fe9fa857eed6588e5c.gif

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I've banged on about this before but it's also about shooting. Shooting in to melee with no risk of hitting friendly units is a complete immersion buster for me. Shouldn't be allowed. Or maybe should be allowed but you may damage the friendlies.

My other one is I'd like a better role and rules for artillery. But we've already done a topic on that. 

https://www.tga.community/forums/topic/31064-artillery-in-aos/

 

Edited by EntMan
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Double time between editions.

Either halve (or less) mortal wound output, or give everything a mortal wound save.

Shooting in melee must be harder.

Single turn charges across the whole field should not be possible.

Shooting through cover must be harder.

Halve cost of battletomes.

Make infantry heroes more survivable.

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6 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

Double time between editions.

1000% this.

If i think about what i am really missing in AoS it would be a 1k or smaller games support. It needs better rules and/ or battleplans based on smaller tables. Now it is kind of added without some serious thought imho.

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I don’t know if I can just tweak some mechanics without touching the whole game. The list is a bit bigger than I expected.
Sorry, wall of text incoming:

  • Ranged attacks:  Friendly units can’t attack enemy units within 3” of any other friendly unit (fix problematic mechanics like wild Incarnate if needed). Reduce fire range too.
    • Why: Shooting should be a tech-tool and not something to build entire armies around it (apart from a few ones that could be based around shooting with their own Battle-Traits). And then, change a bit how cover works:
  • Terrain vs shooting: Improve ward save for ranged attacks instead of basic save:
    • Light cover: ward 5+ vs ranged attacks (when the line between the shooter and the target passes over a friendly or enemy base)
    • Cover: Ward 4+ vs ranged attacks (when the line between the shooter and the target passes over a basic fence (stones, whatever…).
    • Heavy cover: 3+ward vs ranged attacks (when the line between the shooter and the target passes over a hills, buildings, heavy stones, woods, etc…
    • Note: I start at ward 5+ because there are a lot of Ward 6+ around. And a Ward 5+ is  juicy enough and pretty sure players are going to look for cover jsut for that bonus.
  • Look Out Sir: Change it to bodyguard on a 2+. Bodyguard abilities changed to rerolls Look Out Sir.
    • Why: Because foot-Heroes are used as buff-bots or tech-pieces and I think they should be A LOT more. A lot of lists will be greatly improved and encouraged just by this rule.
  • Magic: Change Mortal wounds for auto-hit attacks with fixed rend (-3) for 90% of Magic Lores/spells and other similar abilities.
    • Why: Because mortal wounds are a problematic mechanic, and an army build around magic-attacks should still be possible without breaking the whole game or giving a NPE for both players.
  • Layers of Rules/Parasitic Design: Combine Heroic Abilities, Monstruous Rampage and Comand Abilities in to “Actions” with a restriction to who and when they can be used. Remove some of them (if needed) and print a few unique ones on some warscrolls (named characters or high level leaders). And give all Heroes an "Action" to Challenge other Heroes (and pass over Look Out Sir)!!
    • Why: Imo, all three are the same iterations of unique abilities. The main diference between them is who can issue/recieve them (Monsters/Heroes/ Champions/ etc..) and how many times can they be used (Command Points, 1 per battleround, etc...).
  • Battleplan/Grand Strategy/Battletactics: Complet rework. One “mission” for each map seems enough, at least for a battlepack.
    • Why: Both three options are just a fictional form to win the game (by Victory points). Grand strategies are the “mission” of the battle, and you earn the Victory (aka, accomplish the mission) at the end of the battle. But battleplans and tactics are a granular option to gain points each turn. Maybe a “global mission” that let you gain points each turn can be enough instead of just three layers of rules to do exactly the same.
  • Lethality: I’m going to say something controversial, but I think that I like the 3+/3+/-1/1 profiles. That should be the basic SCE profile that all other units are build, and go nuts from here: Profiles with rend -4, or 2+hit with auto-wounds, etc…
    • Why: because it has a better feeling for all players, throw 50 dice to do 2 dmg at most is boring, and it opens the door to new melee defensive mechanics (that we already have) with -1 to be hit, -1attack, etc... and both players are going to feel that their profiles and abilities are part of the game instead of just a 4+/4+ that turns in to 3+/3+ with full rerolls or any bs like that. And returning to Lethality, I think the best way to confront it is to remove the Damage Delivery Dystem™ (see next point).
  • Movement/ Damage Delivery Dystem: Charge should be a fixed number or something with a bit less rng (e.g: Movement+1D3”), reduce the number of abilities that can teleport or set-up and/or give them some weakness (ambush: set-up only in enemy’s territory, wholly within 6” of any edge), reduce all other moves (6” pile ins, run&charge, +3” to charge, double-move, etc…). 
    • Why: Make positions matter, not by deciding which side of the table are you going to teleport, but since the begining of the game. Let the first round be focused on moving and looking for an opening, and expect the fight to happen between round 2 and 3, for a big slaughter on turn 4 (counter-charges), to end with the final victory points (see Battleplans/Grand Strategies/ Battletactics point).
  • USR/Unique rules/Bloat rules: I’m fine with all the battle traits, warscroll abilities, etc… and I think it’s really good for new people cause it's easy to play than learning 50 Universal Special Rules (more on the next point). But I think that the game needs to be a bit more coherent. If a unit has a bonus to charge, give to all other similar units the same (or really similar) ability: if you have a charge bonus to lance-like weapons that give you -1 rend and +1dmg, all lances should have a similar charge bonus (+X rend and +Y dmg). If a monstrous unit do 1D3mw on a charge, all other similar models should do something like that (1mw, 1D6mw, etc…). Gimmicks and super-ultra-mega-unique abilities should be scarce as possible (and their focus should be flavour and unit diversity, not to become tech-pieces or auto-takes).
    • Why: Because a simple rule or mechanic that depicts an unit “basic” behaviour is just a win/win for everyone and a quality of "good design". New players should understand how a chariot performs just by looking at the model, even if the chariot is not from their army!
  • Units: Just give each type of unit a main ability that it's not part of their Warscrolls (we have beend doing this since 2015).
    • Mage: Cast Spells ( and a new type of spells: Battlecast, spells that can be thrown in the shooting phase).
    • Priest: Prayers, can unbind too, etc… (maybe give them more auras).
    • Heroes: Look Out Sir + Actions (See points above)
    • Battleline: Objective secured maybe?
    • Artillery/Warmachine: there is a whole post about it...
    • Monsters/Behemoths: Actions (See points above)
    • Transports: Hey, I’m a KO player, what do you expect XD
    • Gods: Primarch abilities (USR maybe?) and reduce their points to less than 500. No need to play against a brickwall (note: nobody likes that). Make them fun, and more than 500p is a lot for something that can turn to be powerful or meh...
  • Customization: Your background should be translated on the table (rules). I don’t know how because there are infinite options but a few of them: Split artefacts between “Weapons” and “Armour” (hey, Malign Sorcery anyone?), buy enhancements without Battalions, upgrading unit’s Champion to Heroes (and allow them to take "minor" artefacts, Encorcelled banners?), etc… the whole point is to have your army with diferent rules than a friend that plays with exactly the same models.
    • Why: Because I love customization!!! Give me a runic-system!! MUAHAHAHAH

There are a lot of things that imo can be really fun to polish or change like battleshock, double-turn, etc...,, but it's friday and my brain seems to not want to work anymore. Have a nice weekend!

Edited by Beliman
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- Mortal wounds are changed to rend -3 attacks that ignore modifiers to the save

- One always saves any kind of damage (also mortal wounds) on a 6+, unless your save value is '-'

- armour can‘t be improved beyond 3+

- A comeback of cards for magic

- Reduced lethality (all the 2+, 2+ shenanigans have to stop)

- More negative modifiers to shooting

- Miscasts removed

- Units can only be affected by a single external effect (ability, command etc.) during a battle round (self-buffs from the Warscroll excluded)- heavily reduced wombo-combos

- No save stacking.

With most of these points I‘ll be pretty alone xD

——

 

overall: Make it more casual, less feel bad and clunky.

Edited by JackStreicher
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For the love of god stop making rules that do MWs on 6s to hit. It goes hit-wound-save; skipping one roll is fine, skipping two isn't. WHFB knew this; poisoned made 6s to hit auto-wound, killing blow made 6s to wound ignore armour. Bring back those rules, give them out appropriately and get rid of everything that does MWs on hit rolls, and adjust points accordingly.

It is mind-numblingly absurd that there are more units dealing MWs with attacks than units with attacks at rend -2 or better.

Edited by NinthMusketeer
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Here are my suggestions:
- No more true line of sight: bigger bases block LOS to smaller ones, you cannot shoot through doors and windows, etc. I would also be happy with current targeting rules from 40K (9th edition).
- Introduce model/unit facing: units cannot see what's behind their back and only some units are able to have 360-degree line of sight.
- Cover works differently: depending on the type of cover, the shooter gets -1 or -2 penalty to  hit (like in WHFB).
- Make mortal wounds special: too many models have abilities that simply come down to "deal X mortal wounds". This makes mortal wounds too common and also less interesting as a mechanic (because everybody gets to do it, just under different conditions).
- Make charges less random: maybe some combination of movement stat and die roll, but definitely avoid fully random charge move.
- Make charging count: chargers should always strike first. However, there should be weapons/units that are very effective against charging
- Walking into combat: units should be able to just move close to the enemy unit and be able to attack it as long as it is within the weapon rage (no need to make charge the only option for entering combat). 

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Remove double turn from matched play and hide it in open play or just straight remove it from the game entirely!

 

 

Moving on from that:

1) I'd like to see Cavalry become its own distinct thing. Accepting that it would likely include things that are not mounted units (eg chariots, monsters, medusa etc... would also likely count). Right now the "Troops" section feels lazy and bloated so I'd like to see at least the idea of cavalry units broken out and perhaps get a few special rules/operations of their own to make them something different from just another infantry model; which is basically what they are now.

2) Split leaders up as well. I'm almost at the point where I feel like we need two or three tiers of leaders. Perhaps Named Heroes; Leaders; support command. This might not be that critical but it could be an interesting split, esp splitting out named heroes and perhaps introducing game modes that don't allow them etc... Just because they can be 500-1K monsters that very visually and mechanically dominate the game.

3) Lose the reinforcements system. I totally get on multiple fronts why GW have gone for this, but I think that its trying to push AoS toward something its not. It's kind of trying to push it into a bracket between wargame and skirmish game. Whilst this can create more validity for things like elite units and erodes the dominance that 2.0 had with big infantry blocks; at the same time its shutting down big infantry as an option. It also feels clunky/complex in operation. 

4) 1 leader, 1 banner, 1 musician  per unit. It feels utterly daft with the current upset where you technically take one of each (barring the leader) per "box" of models. This can mean that a unit can end up with very wonky appearances. Technically Seekers of Slaanesh at a 20model "full" unit would have 13 command units and 7 troops. This just feels really silly to me and is visually odd when there's so few "troops" for so many command on the table. I'd rather see GW introduce a simple system of one of each per unit, then either having it that if you lose one you lose the bonus or (for banners/musicians etc...) simply introduce a swap system. So if your banner is shot down you remove the model and then instantly can swap it for another regular model in the unit. Representing someone picking the banner up etc... Heck GW could even introduce a pick-up roll if they wanted - 1-4 success 5-6 its broken/dropped/lost in the heat of battle. 

5) Artillery - this is kind of more model side than rules side, but I'd like to see more focus on them from GW model wise. A lot of armies have nothing in the artillery slot. It feels a waste having 4 divisions and 1 of them is almost entirely unused by most armies. Most armies have a monster at the very least (some have more than one) but artillery is almost utterly absent. 

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Mostly just streamlining battle tactics/grand strategies as a more intuitive secondary objective system, and creating a casual battlepack that has some simpler options for that kind of play and for teaching newbies. Any other dissatisfaction I have is either on a tome/warscroll level, nit-picking, or both. I generally love where the game is at right now.

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-Change the Anvil of Apotheosis to work as part of the Path to Glory rules, and give each battletome faction specific AoA rules for their heroes and generals.

-Make gaining and controlling territories in PtG more meaningful. Allow opponents to "invade" a specific territory to attempt to take it from an opposing army, but give the defending player a bonus - possibly modified by whether or not the territory has been upgraded.

-Release a PtG battleplan pack which includes all of the faction specific battleplans from previous battletomes, re-tailored to work in the current rule set. This alone could dramatically improve the interest in PtG play. Adding a bunch of new unique, flavorful, and asymmetrical battleplans would be fun too (sidenote, a lot of factions and units have rules specific to their ability to hold objectives; make sure they actually get to benefit from them somehow in PtG.)

-Give every faction a hero with a foot/mount/monster progression (like the Lord-Celestant, Killaboss, or Chaos Lord.) Not every hero needs this, but at least one hero per faction who has a version in all three tiers would be great.

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22 minutes ago, OkayestDM said:

-Change the Anvil of Apotheosis to work as part of the Path to Glory rules, and give each battletome faction specific AoA rules for their heroes and generals.

-Make gaining and controlling territories in PtG more meaningful. Allow opponents to "invade" a specific territory to attempt to take it from an opposing army, but give the defending player a bonus - possibly modified by whether or not the territory has been upgraded.

-Release a PtG battleplan pack which includes all of the faction specific battleplans from previous battletomes, re-tailored to work in the current rule set. This alone could dramatically improve the interest in PtG play. Adding a bunch of new unique, flavorful, and asymmetrical battleplans would be fun too (sidenote, a lot of factions and units have rules specific to their ability to hold objectives; make sure they actually get to benefit from them somehow in PtG.)

-Give every faction a hero with a foot/mount/monster progression (like the Lord-Celestant, Killaboss, or Chaos Lord.) Not every hero needs this, but at least one hero per faction who has a version in all three tiers would be great.

Okay, I don't play PtG much, but I am very much in favor of these ideas.

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I want a rework on the new skaven book.

an faq or a complete new book that brings back the horde which the skaven is currently missing. (I want to field units of stormvermins and plague monks again in 40 and giant rats just have to be able to gain sizes of 60).

an explanation of the redmaw plague, the redesigning of certain abilities (like for example that of the rattling gun more more more warplead) etc. 

mutations for rat ogors and giant rats, to make the clan moulder allegiance ability more interesting.

make some of these mutations have the clan skryre risk and reward system.

a spell lore for verminlords,

a new warscroll for the screaming bell.

-more reinforcement points for skaven armies.

 

and more which I will put into a separate post about only rule chances, because I have to chance the train

 

 

 

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Just some rough thoughts.

Keep:

Monstrous Rampages and other MONSTER upsides: In my opinion, one of the best changes from 3rd ed. Between roar and capturing for 5 the monster keyword has a lot of value and monsters have well defined roles in an army now.

No force limits: While forcing stuff like "0-1 Elites" would increase list diversity, it is the most blunt instrument that could possibly be used to do so. I believe AoS has the potential for list diversity to naturally arise from more basic game mechanics. Making sure that infantry, cav, monsters, artillery and characters all have distinct roles to play would make lists diverse while not fully eliminating skew/theme lists. Other games have managed this, I know it is possible.

Change:

Battle tactics and grand strategies: I like the idea of secondary objectives, but the current implementation of tactics and strategies makes the game less approachable and arguably less strategically interesting, since many of them focus on just killing enemy troops in some way. One of the big things that AoS did right was objective-based design, where you don't win games just by fighting. Combat-centric games have a tendency to devolve into big punch-ups in the center of the board, and that tendency needs to activeky be managed by rules design. However, I still think tactics and strategies could be worthwhile, but I would like to see a second design pass on them.

Ranged combat: There are a lot of gripes around with the current ranged combat mechanics. They are non-interactive. They are not thematic (in the sense that the best use for squads of archers is often to snipe individual characters). They are frequently very powerful. Artillery is bad and has no role in most armies. All of this could no doubt be improved, and really deserves attention.

Trash:

Heroic actions: While I think monstrous rampages were important to give monsters their own identity, heroic actions just add complexity to the game that I am not convinced is necessary or desirable. Heroes are already priests and wizards and get cool command abilities. They have an identity already.

Add:

Real terrain mechanics: One of the most glaring omissions in the AoS rules since the start. At least add line-of-sight blocking and impassible terrain as a core thing. Get rid of true line-of-sight while we are at it. This would go a long way towards dealing with the difficulties of ranged combat, too.

More structure through keywords: Adding something as basic as CAVALRY, INFANTRY and LARGE keywords would do wonders for cleaining up rules interactions. Currently we are faffing about trying to somehow define these things through number of wounds and unit sizes, but for what reason? There will always be weird outliers by doing things this way. How convenient would it be to just have rules that say "INFANTRY (not just any battleline) gets objective secured", "All CAVALRY and CHARIOT units do impact hits" or "This new Ogor hunter deals double damage against LARGE units"?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Change artillery units so they have a reliable "standard" attack, and a more niche "special" attack.

Ideally, that special attack has an effect similar to a spell or prayer (roll a die for each model in unit, 6s auto-hit and auto-wound for x rend.) 

Point the units low, based only on their standard attack, but strictly limit the number of artillery pieces that can be taken in a game. That way the unit is attractive even if it's special attack doesn't come into play, but it can't be spammed.

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Keep popular battle plans from season to season. Why bother writing a bunch of ****** battle plans that people just re-roll, when there are great plans from previous seasons that could just be readjusted.

Fewer actions - there's too much rules bloat that favours memorisation over skill.

Sack off faction specific battle tactics and simplify the existing ones.

Design changes should be made to minimise the amount of time spent looking stuff up and rewarding good strategy.

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On 11/10/2022 at 10:48 PM, zilberfrid said:

Double time between editions.

At least 4 years; not 5 or 6.  I think a good option would be push out the books fast, and then let the game sit for a year or two with new GBH/misssions changing how the game is played.  Although that's probably a fairly unreasonable idea as well.

IIRC 8th edition Fantasy was  6 years long, I waited 5 years, to get Wood Elves (after waiting 14 years for 6th ed WE), they weren't done well, and then 4 ish months later End Times started and a year later the game was changed to AoS.  Then I had to wait a few years for CoS to use my Wanderers reasonably.  

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26 minutes ago, Popisdead said:

At least 4 years; not 5 or 6.  I think a good option would be push out the books fast, and then let the game sit for a year or two with new GBH/misssions changing how the game is played.  Although that's probably a fairly unreasonable idea as well.

IIRC 8th edition Fantasy was  6 years long, I waited 5 years, to get Wood Elves (after waiting 14 years for 6th ed WE), they weren't done well, and then 4 ish months later End Times started and a year later the game was changed to AoS.  Then I had to wait a few years for CoS to use my Wanderers reasonably.  

I agree you want the battletomes out early in the edition. So if it's 6 years and all battletomes are done in the first three, you have at least three years of play with a battletome actually made for the edition.

The rest can be extra models and or campaign books, but it's weard that people accept playing most of the game with a ruleset only partly compatible with itself.

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A post further up says he wants unique rules removed/made scarcer. I really hope this doesn't happen. When I was a kid I was too poor to collect warhammer so only had a few units and both dwarf and orc/goblin book. It was how the models all had unique rules and did unique things that got me obsessed with the game.  Would read the books over and over again. Without these rules and units doing unique things it just feels like ''shoots numbers/puts out numbers/takes away numbers''. Flavour is so important imo.

 

Also really enjoying things like different factions having different battle tactics, think it's cool.

Edited by magtchu
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12 minutes ago, magtchu said:

A post further up says he wants unique rules removed/made scarcer. I really hope this doesn't happen. When I was a kid I was too poor to collect warhammer so only had a few units and both dwarf and orc/goblin book. It was how the models all had unique rules and did unique things that got me obsessed with the game.  Would read the books over and over again. Without these rules and units doing unique things it just feels like ''shoots numbers/puts out numbers/takes away numbers''. Flavour is so important imo.

 

Also really enjoying things like different factions having different battle tactics, think it's cool.

I think the key isn't so much removing unique rules, its about making rules that do the same thing be called the same thing
Right now a lot of units have unique named rules, but they are the same rule, they do the same thing. Having standardised terminology makes it a lot lot easier to get into the game and understand the flow. 

I think it also means that when a unit does have a unique rule it feels unique because its the only model to have it. So whilst not every unit might have totally unique ones, it means that those which do feel far more like they stand out as something special because they have a unique rule that isn't just a fancy name, but which actually does something in the game itself that is different. 

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The argument I always saw people make against USRs was they didn't like flicking through the Big Rulebook and they preferred every unit having all it's rules on the Datasheet/Warscroll. To that I would say... have USRs, but just have them written on the Datasheet/Warscroll as the special rules are now, alongside the actual, unique-to-that-unit ones.

How many variations of Feel No Pain slightly changed/reworded do we have now, for instance?

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